Summer is coming to a fast end here in Central Florida and we’re already several weeks into the school year. I think I’m like most moms who were secretly counting down the days until school started. Don’t get me wrong…summer is great. Evenings are pretty much stress free because we’re not dealing with piles of homework, cooking dinner, walking the dog, and getting showered and ready for bed before 9:30 p.m. Though I've loved every second of those stress-free nights, I always look forward to being back on a schedule (my Type A personality just reared its ugly head in that sentence).
But as I secretly counted down the days, I also became painfully aware of how quickly time is flying by, how fast my daughter is growing up, how few summers I have left with her before she goes off to college. It's during these moments of realization that I pause my thoughts and breathe. And remember to savor every moment I have with her — whether it's chaotic or relaxing. Being present with her, learning to be present in life in general, can sometimes be a daily lesson.
We're all running around at warp speed, caught up in a myriad of daily tasks and activities outside of school and work as we rush from here to there. Most of us live in a near constant state of stress. I remember when that stress felt normal to me, almost like I thrived on it. It's when you're caught up in that state of mind that you are NOT present. You're in survival mode. And when you're just trying to survive, do you really stop to smell the roses? Do you slow down long enough to notice that your kid no longer calls you “mommy” or she outgrew that cute little speech impediment that made certain words sound so cute?
I think any time we let stress consume us, we miss out. When I’m stressed, worrying, and feeling anxiety, I have to remember to hit pause. I’ve also had to rethink what I’m actually stressed about. If I’m stressed at work, I leave it there. If I’m stressed about being overbooked with activities, I decide to cut some things out. For me, controlling all those stress factors (Type A!) helps me stay present, less distracted, and enjoy the fleeting moments more.